Oven Not-Fried Pickles

A few weeks ago, I moved.  I think I told you about this but in case I didn’t… I moved.  Not far.  Just to the unit downstairs.  You’re probably thinking why go through all the trouble to move all your stuff down stairs?

Answer: For a patio.

You know what patios mean in Southern California? Outdoor space for dinner parties pretty much year round.  When you live in a studio, having people over is awkward.  Oh hey friend, why don’t you sit on my bed while I make you a cocktail and serve you a cheese platter?  Borderline creepy.

Now I have outdoor space where I can have people sit without being a creeper.  My most recent dinner venture was Southern themed.   I’ve never been to the South (well I don’t count Florida as the South.  Do you?) but here’s my south-inspired menu: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Homemade Coleslaw, Baked Beans and Peanut Butter Cream Pie.

But what’s a dinner party without appetizers?

So in keeping with my Southern theme and the fact that my last impulse buy at the grocery store was a huge jar of pickles, I thought fried pickles might be the right choice.  The only issue is I hate frying things.  So crisis averted…

Oven Not-Fried Pickles

adapted from Skinny Taste

1 jar of pickles (I used dill oval cut chips)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 whole wheat flour
1 tsp cajun spice
pinch of salt
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

In a bowl combine breadcrumbs, cornmeal, flour, cajun spice and salt.

In another bowl beat together egg and milk.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 450F.  Pat dry the pickles using a towel/paper towel.  Dip one into the egg mixture then toss in the breadcrumb mixture.  Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Repeat until all pickles are breaded (or you’re tired of doing this).

Bake 8-10 minutes, flip and bake another 5 minutes or until golden.

Serve hot with ketchup for dipping.

These were winners, but trust me on this.  They taste better when they’re hot… and with a cold beer… and preferably on a patio (not your bed… unless you’re into that kind of thing, in which case I’m not judging).

Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is.

Lemon Cornmeal Muffins

There are a few things I really appreciate in life.

1. My ten o’clock telenovela.  I’m into it.

2.  The fact that even though my friends are far away they can give me fashion advice thanks to my iphone.

I can’t be the only one that does this… right?

3. Lemon flavored anything. All the time.

Like these.

I love the texture, the lemon-y-ness, the simplicity.  Make them now.

Lemon Cornmeal Muffins

adapted from Epicurious

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  In another bowl combine eggs, buttermilk, lemon zest, vanilla and melted butter.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Pour into lined muffin pan.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

While the muffins bake, make the glaze by combining powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Once the muffins are baked, remove from pan, place on a rack to cool.  While still hot, poke with a toothpick or fork and pour about 1 tbsp of glaze on each one.  Allow to cool completely and serve.

Then text your friends a picture of you eating one.  I would appreciate that.

Fig-Honey Cornmeal Cake

I have something for you, and I’m pretty sure you’ll love it.  It’s simple and sweet, with a bit of a rough texture.  No, I’m not talking about your perfect man.  I’m talking about cake.

If you were here, I’d serve this to you with a cup of tea.  Better yet, I should plan a tea party around this cake.

Who wants to come?

The lovely thing about this cake, aside from the fact that it involves figs and honey, is how quick and easy it is.  You can make the whole thing in less than half an hour.  And that’s exactly what I did this morning.

Fig-Honey Cornmeal Cake

1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg
1/2 cup honey (plus more for drizzling)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6-7 fresh figs

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.  Set aside.

Slice figs into wedges (about 6 wedges per fig).  Arrange figs onto prepared baking pan.  Set aside.

Combine egg, honey, and olive oil in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Combine with cornmeal.  Add dry ingredient mixture to wet ingredients.  Fold together until just combined.

Then pour the batter over the figs.

Gently spread the batter around.  It’ll just barely cover the figs.

Place in the oven and bake until golden brown.  In my oven it took about 13 minutes.  It cooks very quickly!  So check it after 10-12 minutes.

Once it’s out of the oven, allow to cool.  Turn over onto a plate and drizzle with additional honey

and serve any time of day!